As fast as possible he must have buried in the earth the holy relic of his brother and he must have covered his blood, that was spilled on the ground, in order not to remain visible any mark of this terrible crime. And he must have thought the poor man, that it was hidden.
But God, Who even before the murder had distinguished, what was happening in the heart of Cain, has also now seen that terrible action and He becomes not just witness but also judge for it.
At that time the courts and the authorities and the police departments and the investigators they didn't yet existed in order for God to disclose that hidden crime to them and for them to take over and punish it in this present life, so therefore it remained up to God the punishment of the crime in the future life to come.
And thus God, to Whom the revenge belongs for every transgression of the human beings and especially for the blood that is spilled ruthlessly and fiercely on the earth, and especially for the blood of the saints, He doesn't take long before taking over with His work and to summon Cain to interrogation.
Abel was lost all of a sudden. What happened? God addresses towards Cain, to whom before also he had spoken to about Abel, attempting to expel from his heart the hatred which Cain was feeling against his brother.
Once therefore, that there had been previous incidents, any investigator would address Cain and to Cain he would ask, what happened to your brother. Much more God would address, Who had seen and knew well, that Abel was murdered by Cain.
Behold however, how much the sin obscure! Cain continues to believe that he can cheat God and be hidden from His eye.
While previously he had received knowledge by experience that God was in the position even the invisible movements of the heart to know them, he imagines, the wretched, that one such big crime could have escaped from God.
And for this reason he replies with insolence and with shamelessness indescribable. «And Cain said, I do not know; perhaps the keeper of my brother am I?».
«I do not know». I do not know, where is Abel my brother. He doesn't know! But it was him who had killed him.
And thus the first great and terrible crime adds up another great and unscrupulous sin, a shameless lie before God.
And as according to the words of Christ the devil, who now becomes father of Cain, he is from the beginning homicidal and liar, similarly Cain too, who is inspired by his spiritual father, the devil, after he became murderer of his own brother, he also becomes a shameless liar before God.
«I do not know». Cain therefore is dizzy and obscured, since he believes, that he can deceit God. But at the same time he is also hardened and callous.
Because, you see, he prefers to lie and to intent, to cover up one crime with another, the murder with the lie, instead of humbling himself in front of God, to confess his crime, to regret and to cry for it and to ask for the mercy and the forgiveness of the Lord.
He is hardened. And how is he not going to be, since God has abandoned him? The benevolent God has tried to save him. Him however, he despised and kicked away that holy and exceptional circumstance, that even the stones would soften and would break.
And for this the righteous God abandoned him. And the result was, that Cain was hardened. And when the man is hardened, no hope any more for repentance and salvation exist for him.
«Perhaps the keeper of my brother am I?». Someone made me keeper of my brother? The impudent! The insolent! Behold, how he talks! It is as if he says to God: You don't know what you are asking for. You ask me, where is my brother. How would I know! Am I his keeper?
Oh wretched and miserable! His keeper and his protector you ought to be. Wasn't he younger than you? Aren't you the older one from the children of Adam? Wasn't he your brother? If the older brothers are not keepers and protectors of their younger brothers, then who would be their keeper and their protector?
Or would you also prefer an official assignation by God in order to recognize, that you are keeper and protector of your brother?
Isn't it enough the natural inclination and the natural love, which by itself, by nature itself, is being born in the heart of each brother for his own brother, isn't it enough to teach you that you are indeed and you ought to be a keeper to your brother?
Such therefore indifference demonstrating for your brother you reveal yourself that you are guilty towards him. For this reason, while you try to cover yourself in order to cover your crime, in effect you uncover yourself even more.
Indeed, my brother; the criminal and the guilty gets his mind obscured and he cannot hide himself. He betrays himself. And the bigger his crime is, the more his obscuration is deeper, and his way of thinking more dizzy, and his words more absurd and incoherent.
«Perhaps the keeper of my brother am I?». Be careful, oh brothers, all you who descend from the same parents. It is your duty to be interested for your brothers and to be useful as keepers and protectors of them.
It is your duty, if they fall in any danger your brothers, to hasten and undertake all the measures, that depend on your hands, in order to prevent the danger to which they are subjected their bodies.
Even more you must be keepers of their souls. Be careful never to say: «Perhaps the keeper of my brother am I?». Only out of the mouth of someone like Cain could come out this terrible speech. But don't ever let it come out from your own mouth.
When God asks Cain: «Where is your brother?», He shows for one more time His forbearance and His benevolence towards that rough and fierce brother. He comes to judge him as supreme judge and ruler of everything.
And while the crime is so terrible, that it should right away in the very place of the crime, without any warning, the sky to throw the most terrible punishment against that criminal, behold how much forbearant and benevolent God is shown to be.
He summons the guilty and the accused one. And He doesn't immediately tell him: «Why have do done this terrible crime?». Instead He asks him: «Where is your brother?». And thus He gives him the opportunity to confess on his own his crime and to ease his position.
But this criminal does not mean to be corrected. And to one crime he adds another and he is trying the transgression to cover it with other transgression.
One evil, you see, easily drags with it also the other. And when it happens that you slip down the hill of wickedness, from one slip and stumble you easily fall to the other also.
Cain therefore throws away again the opportunity, that God gives to him, and he thus proves that he intends to stay forever in the sin.
Then therefore, God as well takes over relentlessly the work of His judgment. He immediately reveals to him his crime and he pronounces his condemnation.
He condemns him. And He condemns him, after He previously gave him the opportunity to apologize, and if he would humble himself, to lighten up to a great extent his position.
«And said the Lord. What have you done? The voice of the blood of your brother cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth...».
«What have you done?». «What have you done?». What terrible and criminal act have you dared to commit? What heavy and black and terrible crime you have committed?
And you imagine, that you can cover up and hide this crime? «the voice of the blood of your brother cries out to Me from the ground».
The blood of your brother cries out as if it had mouth and voice, cries out loud and shouts to Me from the ground, in which it was spilled and which absorbed it.
It shouts up to heaven and asks for vengeance and punishment. It shouts and at the same time it is a martyr and a persecutor of your crime. It shouts to Me, that I am avenger of the aggrieved ones and of the tyrannized.
The moment that he would kill all of a sudden the unarmed Abel his brother Cain, where would he turn the eyes that innocent victim asking for help and protection? Towards the heaven.
And where does he turn his face everyone who is unfairly killed, with deceitfulness and cunningness, without being able to protect himself and defend his own life? Towards God.
And then it comes out with bitter complaint from his mouth, the moment he unjustly dies, the terrible speech, that in other times came out from the lips of Azariah, when Jehoash was unjustly killing him. «God sees and judges». And God sees and judges.
This voice and this complaint reaches His ears. It's the voice of the blood of the unjustly murdered, who seeks vengeance and punishment.
It is the voice of the innocent victims, that reaches the sanctuary of God crying out: «Oh holy and truthful God, until when You won't revenge our blood from the people living on earth?».
«The voice of the blood of your brother cries out to Me». The blood cries out. The blood seeks, even on it's own, revenge. And even when the victim does not seek revenge, and when the unjustly murdered forgives and does not want that his murderers are punished, even then his blood keeps shouting.
Well, don't you see Christ on the Cross, who forgives His Crucifiers? Don't you see, that He prays to His Father for them and as if He was their assigned attorney in front of the terrible court of the divine justice, how He takes over in order to excuse them by saying, «Father, let them, for they don't know, what they are doing»?
And despite all this this voice of God's favourite child does not reach to the ears of the great Judge. The voice of His blood however, that is unjustly spilled on the hill of Golgotha, that voice reaches up to heaven and provokes the terrible revenge against His crucifiers.
And the blood, especially when it is the blood of an unjustly murdered and innocent and harmless man, it becomes fire that burns and it never leaves in peace the murderer. It becomes voice and outcry, that uprises the divine justice and infuriates it in order to receive its vengeance.
And no matter how much it gets covered up this blood, no matter how deeply in the earth and in the ground, its voice cannot be suffocated, it does not diminish, but it's an outcry and a clamor and a thunder, that reaches up to the sky.
It shouts therefore also the blood of the unjustly murdered Abel, and God, in a hurry and without any postponement, He comes to avenge it.
After God in a few words represented to Cain, how frightful, how terrible, how reprehensible and unforgivable was his sin, He immediately utters also the condemnation of the horrible fratricidal.
«So now, God continues, you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the earth, she shall not add up her strength to assist you; a fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth».
God curses Cain. What a terrible thing! When previously He was punishing Adam and Eve and was pronouncing their condemnation, one such word that He says now for Cain, God did not say it also for Adam.
He didn't say to Adam: you shall be cursed. He only cursed the earth for it to turn wild and to become barren and full of thorns. Of Adam and Eve the sin had some extenuation, and for this His punishment had some condescension.
But the crime of Cain does not take any excuse. It is a terrible crime, of a person who doesn't accept adjustment, who first thoroughly thought about it and then he did it. What condescension therefore could the great Judge demonstrate? He instead curses him for that immediately and He also curses him too.
Alas for you, poor Cain! Who is cursing you? He is neither human nor any other creature. It's God Who curses you. Alas!
Whoever God curses he remains and he is cursed for the ages to come. And he remains cursed with a curse, that penetrates deeply, that is heavy and disastrous, that uproots and converts to ashes everything, upon which it will fall.
If it would fall fire upon you, it would be preferable for you. If you were to be found in the interior of a furnace, that would be incandescent seven times more than the usual, your situation would be better.
Damned. I curse you, says God. And as instrument of my curse, that will punish you in your whole life, I don't appoint any angel of mine, but I assign the earth.
Damned you will be from the earth. I designate the earth, which opened her mouth in order to receive from your relentless hands the blood of your brother.
She opened her mouth the inanimate and unconscious earth and did not permit it to remain stagnated the blood of your brother, but she received it. She received it from your hands. Your hands were spilling it and the earth was collecting it. You were scattering it and you were dissipating it and the earth was receiving it.
This earth therefore, that was the only witness of your crime, this earth shall be also the instrument of my condemnation against you. She will be the executor of my wrath against you.
So what then will happen now for Cain? When you shall work on the earth, says God towards him, «she shall not add up her strength to assist you»; she shall not add up to your work also her own strength, in order to give you fruits and livestock.
Wherever you might go and whatsoever part of her if you cultivate, the earth will demonstrate to you everywhere and always the displeasure and the wrath, which towards you God has.
Of all that you shall sow and plant on the earth, nothing shall grow roots nor shall sprout on her soil. And everywhere, where they shall meddle your murderous hands, they shall scatter the catastrophe for every fertility of the earth and every flora on her.
This means cursed by God. It falls upon Cain and to all those, that Cain possess; and to all those, that Cain works with; and to all those, that Cain touches and holds.
And this is that it means that the work of man is without the blessing of God. Even if you work from morning till night. Even if all day you sweat and dry up. Even if you possess the most abundant field and the most fertile land. Even if you work with the most lucrative and profitable profession.
If God has not blessed your doings, then you are not doing anything. And especially if God curses you, then everything under your feet and your hands becomes flammable material, in order to totally burn your happiness and in order to destroy all your assets.
And when therefore, you see, my brother, that your efforts, that you dedicate to the earth or to any other profession of yours, they are getting lost and in a moment, that you would expect to harvest from them the wealth, you harvest instead the catastrophe, one is your duty in that occasion.
Think, beware, deeply interrogate yourself; could it be that God is angry with you? Could it be that with the goods, that God gave to you in the past, you, instead of becoming useful to your neighbor, you became drunkard and corrupted and you used them for evil?
If something like this is happening, you must amend yourself, in order to have in the future the blessing of God upon you and upon your doings.
But if your conscience informs you, that you are not guilty in anything, then know, that God is testing you.
And be patient then, and persevere and submit to the will of God. Through this patience you shall bear fruit towards the eternal life and you will amass treasures not on the earth, but in heaven.
A piece of bread someone would be willing to give to the horrible fratricide, when he would degenerate to extreme misery and poverty due to the fact the earth would not bear fruit to his own cultivation.
But from the sighs and the fright, with which God condemns him now his life to be accompanied, who can absolve him?
«A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth», God adds. You shall be, while you live on the earth, moaning and trembling continually.
A bizarre fear, a fear that will take over all you soul and all your members, a fear that you will not be able to expel it and overcome it, it will always persecute you and it will make you tremble.
And from your miserable life, that will be full of frights and of agitation, the sighs will never be lacking.
Your callous conscience, that you have distorted with your wicked opinion and your insistence to evil, will not lose her voice completely.
She will wake up from time to time in order to bring back to you in the mind the image of the unjustly murdered brother of yours; in order to bring back to you in your ears his terrible groan, that he made when he was dying out from your brutal blows; in order to bring back to you before your eyes his red blood that was spilled in front of you, when you was killing him.
And it will seem to you, that you will then hear the half off voice of your brother woefully telling you: Brother of mine, the same mother has given birth to us and we have the same father. Don't you feel sorry for me? Drink therefore my blood!
And trembling will come upon you and fear and shudder and convulsions caused by this image the bloodstained one, that will present itself before you, and cold sweat will splash you all over and will be continually inflated your chest for the sighs to come out, sighs that will not alleviate you and will not lighten up your unbearable suffering.
And you shall get surprised at night while you sleep by your terrible dreams, from which dreams shall never be absent the now dreadful for you image of your brother, and you will all of a sudden wake up, in order to continue, when you will be awake, your unbearable torture.
The darkness of the night will increase the horror in you and will multiply in you the fear, and it will seem to you, that enemies are persecuting you and they are trying to take back the blood of your brother by spilling your blood too, as you spilled the blood of him.
and the least sound or the calm whispering of the trees your agitated imagination will confuse it and will perceive it as the sound of the footsteps of the approaching avenger, who is coming to avenge the blood of your brother. «A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth».
«On the earth». In any place on earth you happen to be, wherever you happen to go, the sigh and the trembling will not leave from near you. You will not feel the terror and the fear only when you stay in a desert place and solitary.
Even if in a palace with towers you happen to be, and if from legions and regiments of adjutants you are surrounded, a royal crown if you wear on your head and imperial scepter if you hold in your hands, the fear and the terror you will not be able despite all these to expel and to overcome.
The murderer always remains a murderer and the murder does not ever separates from the curse and the punishment, with which has accompanied him the wrath of God.
Haven't you ever heard about an emperor of Byzantium, who in order to seize the throne from the hands of his brother he converted to Cain and he killed him? And then?
Of course he became an emperor who was feared by a great and vast kingdom. And despite all these he could not ever relax from the terror and the fear, that the blood of the unjustly murdered brother of his provoked to him.
He lived in a palace, by many guards he was guarded, he was travelling all the time, yet he couldn't ever find peace, because in his dream appeared to him the unjustly murdered brother of his, holding in his hands a horrible cap filled with his own blood, and he continually offered it to his murderer brother saying, «Brother, drink».
«A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth». But no matter how heavy and unbearable the punishment seems, that the fair God imposes to Cain, it's not however alien to the compassion and the mercy of God.
Because God could exterminate at once the horrible Cain and hand him over directly to the most unbearable sufferings of hell.
He doesn't do it however, but instead He lets him live. And He lets him live, in order to give him one more chance to be corrected. He prolongs his life, lest he might repent.
You might tell me, that God knows that Cain will remain unrepentant. This however is not a good reason for God not to show one more time His benevolence towards Cain.
And thus God does not let you disconsolate and desperate, my brother, if it happened that you have also fallen to the terrible sin of the murder.
With the forbearance that He continues after the fratricide too to show to Cain, He clearly proves to you, that there exist also for the murderer a place for repentance and that he can find himself too again the mercy and the compassion of God.
«And if they are his sins like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be white as wool».